Almudena Alonso Hernandez, Madrid (Spain), Class of 2002

When I think of my school the words that come to my mind are: gratitude, happiness, childhood, effort, work, friends, good teachers, better Sisters, values, discipline, respect, all good memories.

What I most enjoyed of Mater Salvatoris School is to have the opportunity to learn in a privileged environment. Some skills and talents I developed are to study, to be responsible, to collaborate with others, to play the guitar, to enjoy painting, to be a good friend. I remember with special affection the love of nature through the trips to the mountain that the group of mountaineers taught me. As part of this group I learned to try harder, to overcome difficulties, to be cheerful, to struggle for a goal, to know what a true friendship is and, above all, to get closer to God through nature.

As a Mater Salvatoris student I learned a lot of things. At the academic level, I could study the career I liked at a very good University in Madrid. But above all, I learned things that are more important from my point of view; mainly that we have a mission in our life and therefore a great responsibility in everything we do, that life make sense when we give it to others, to appreciate the unique value of each person, to seek always the Truth behind the facts and events of life.

Catholic faith and spiritual life are a cornerstone in my life. At school I learned to pray, and also to have a great love and tenderness to our Blessed Mother. I also became a member of the “Marian Congregation”, and still attend the meetings with my husband. We both live together our faith which has been what helped us the most in our marriage.

I have to say that I am proud of being part of this family and I am very grateful to my parents for chosing for my education Mater Salvatoris School in Madrid.

Studies: Industrial Engineering. Currently: Spouse, teacher, tutor and administration staff at Mater Salvatoris School in Madrid, Spain.

Sonymarie Socarras, Alumna from Puerto Rico, Class of 1986 (8th Grade)

When I think of my school I think of my alma Mater! Even though we had to leave Mater Salvatoris after 8th grade, I have always considered Mater as my school, much more than my high school. I cherish those memories of my pre-school and elementary school up to 8th grade.

As a Mater Salvatoris student I learned to care for each other and be sensitive to my classmates needs. I learned about healthy competition. I learned discipline and structure when it comes to “ways to study” and how to divide our time between study and extracurricular activities (i.e., sports) in an efficient manner. That there is a time for everything and that being focused provided me the opportunity to do many things, and do them the best way possible. Trusting Mater Salvatoris Blessed Mother to light my path.

What I most enjoyed of Mater Salvatoris is the sense of family. I recall the loving teachers and great classmates. To this day, I remember the Sisters with love. I remember my Kindergarten graduation and how happy I was that day. Being the 2nd graduating class of Mater Puerto Rico, I was able to be part of the “first” of almost everything … the first volleyball & basketball team, girl scout troop, first to enjoy the new buildings, first to go to a different school for high school and these schools to change their curriculum because we were ahead in both math and science. I cherish the time when, after winning the 1st championship in a Volleyball invitational tournament, the whole team went to the Sisters’ house late at night to take the trophy and the Sisters opened up and offered us cookies and refreshments. We were all so happy and proud to be Mater athletes!

Some skills and talents I developed at Mater Salvatoris are doing things right the first time and the importance of teamwork. I learned to enjoy Math and Science since early on and had a great English teacher too. These areas of study created the base for what I studied for my Engineering Bachelor degree in College. I also developed my skills in volleyball, which I played during my college years too.

Spiritual life was always part of the daily life at Mater Salvatoris. Religion classes, and all spiritual preparations, like First Communion, how to prepare for Confessions, etc., were also part of the normal student life.

Studies: Engineering at Cornell University (for both Undergrad and Graduate studies)

Current occupation: Strategic Management Consultant

Maria Fabiola Leon - Alumna from Maracaibo (Venezuela), Class of 2001

When I think of my school, I think of how happy I was during my school years! Mater Salvatoris School represents excellence in education,values, vocation, integrity and affection.
As a Mater Salvatoris student I had an excellent academic preparation, but my major accomplishment was the acquisition of moral and religious values. that were inculcated by the “Madres” (Sisters) of the school. They helped me to shape my character, and to develop the means to withstand great difficulties in my life, making me confident that God and the Our Lady Mater Salvatoris are always accompanying me and guiding my steps.

Some of the skills that I developed at Mater Salvatoris School were my organizational and leadership skills. Since I was the delegate of my class from Seventh Grade until we graduated, my classmates helped me discover and put into practice the skills I have to lead and organize school events of any type. Nowadays, I apply all these skills in my work and social area. This has greatly helped me to embark in projects for the most needed in my community.

The best moments I lived at school were being among my friends everyday. But one special moment that I cherish was the first trip that the Marian Congregation organized to Rome in WYD 2000, for the encounter of young people with the Pope. In this trip my spirituality grew, I made more profound friendships, besides the fact that I had the chance to visit and learn from a new country.

Mater Salvatoris helped to grew up in the Catholic faith that today is the pillar of my life. I learned how to pray and to love our Blessed Mother unconditionally, consistently supported by the testimony of the Sisters and the formation the Marian Congregation gave us during those years. I grew in an unconditional love to the Eucharist, which is my daily food for my soul; I grew in the love, respect and admiration for the Catholic Church, and a profound respect for priesthood and the need to help the needy . Current Occupation: Administrative Manager Picture: Celebration of the 50th anniversary of Mater Salvatoris School in Maracaibo, Venezuela. Maria Fabiola is the one in a red shirt.

Gema Nieto, Alumna from Madrid (Spain), Class of 1995

I am from Madrid, but I have been living in NYC since 2001 when I moved from Spain, the Netherlands and France to pursue a second Master in Music Performance at Manhattan School of Music, thanks to a Fulbright scholarship that I received after graduating cum laude in the Conservatory in Spain. I had the privilege to study in Mater Salvatoris School for 10 years. A privilege, because Mater Salvatoris School gave me the strongest foundation to become the person I am right now: foundation in academics, foundation in music, and the foundation to build myself as a catholic woman.

While I was at school, at 7 years old, I listened the Mater Salvatoris School Chorus and I fell in love with it. I was still too young to join, so I waited the following year to audition. Meanwhile, I started my interest in piano and the school offered lessons, so I started as an after school activity.

I wasn’t really aware of having been taught such strong academic skills until later on when I studied in different music conservatories and schools in Europe and in the USA. Aside of what most people think about the music career, we need other subjects and skills like math, science, history, languages… and no matter where I was, everything seemed to be smooth and with a little effort doable (which was great because it left me many hours to practice the piano!).

Beside the academics, Mater Salvatoris School was my home for the most important years in my life. It’s where I met my amazing girl friends (still now my favorite ones!), and where I learned how to be a good person and how to love God and the Virgin Mary, and live life with God’s principles. I learned how to pray, I shared the Mass with my classmates, learned how to treat others with respect and how to help others when in need.

Mater Salvatoris School was and is part of myself, and I have to thank the school. I am so happy to be the person I am right now. I remain strong at all times and never had fear or doubts in my decisions throughout my life. Now, I happily live in Manhattan with my husband and three children. I do what I love in the most amazing city in the world… I wish you the best of luck to make this project a reality.

Studies: Master in Music and Piano Performance at Manhattan School of Music.

Currently: Spouse and mother, international pianist, music consultant and teacher.

Isabel Sánchez Olivieri, Caracas (Venezuela), Class of 2013

As a Mater Salvatoris student I learned leadership skills, how to share and rely on others, the values of life and how to be a good person and Catholic, to sing, to study, to understand that there is time to be a great student but also to do what we love the most.

I learned that the best gift you can give to any person is your friendship and a simple smile. I learned that there is nothing impossible, we just need effort, dedication and faith to achieve our goals.

What I most enjoyed aboutMater Salvatoris School is the opportunity the school gave me to be part of different extracurricular activities, such as United Nations Model, the Student Center and the “Marian Congregation”, where I was able to meet and get to know new classmates and friends that shared the same interests and likes. Particularly, the moments I enjoyed the most were the performances my whole class had to do, such as an act from “Cinderella”, Jesus Christ Birth, and mostly the “Song to Mary”. Those were moments that I remember with a smile on my face because we had to get together, all those different personalities, search for our strengths, put them all together, and achieve our goal all united. We had a great time in every rehearsal!

The skills I developed the most in Mater Salvatoris School were the abilities and skills to work in a team, to trust others, to try to help others when they need me the most, to study and be organized, to debate, to be part of many activities, to reach my goals and never give up.

When I think of my school, sometimes I want to go back and spend a day there, like a current student. I remember recess with my friends, the teachers that changed my way of seeing the world and I cannot see anymore, the chapel where I went every day to pray and have a moment to offer my day to God… when I think of Mater Salvatoris School I thank God and my parents for choosing it as my school because I can’t imagine all of those memories in a different place.

Current Studies: Medicine, at the “Universidad Central” of Venezuela.

Picture: Class of 2013 Graduation Ceremony at the Mater Salvatoris School in Caracas, Venezuela. Isabel is the fourth one from the left.